When you think of the greatest players in sports history, you can’t escape the fact that they hail from some of the world’s greatest cities. Cities that have access to facilities that help keep them in peak fitness condition and have easy access to global transportation. Not to mention strategic locations that allow them to participate in global and domestic leagues or tournaments. Here is a list of great players and the great cities they hail from or currently live in.
Lebron James: Cleveland. Ohio, USA
This man loves chasing records, he is the 4th all-time scoring record in the NBA, including 7 records which include ‘only player to’ in NBA statistics, 15 times NBA all-star, all NBA selection, 4 NBA MVPs and the list is long. The city he hails from is not the biggest in the world, but it is one of the fastest rising cities in the USA – Cleveland. This city has multiple sports teams participating in their respective national championships. But, let’s focus on Cleveland because there is a lot to do. Firstly visit all the stadiums – home of the Calviliers, Indians (Baseball), Browns (American football) and Barons (Ice Hockey). Along with this you just have to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Cedar Point – the Roller Coaster Capital of the World.
Billie Jean King : Long Beach (part of Los Angeles), California, USA
The lady responsible for demanding equal pay for women in sport, she has more Grand Slam titles than any other player in history – 39 – and countless women’s tennis records. One of the greatest players of all time, she hails from Long Beach, California. Long Beach is south of Los Angeles, but it is a major area within Los Angeles. L.A. is home to 7 professional sports teams – Ducks (Ice Hockey), Rams and Chargers (American Football), LAFC and LA Galaxy (Football) and the Angeles and Dodgers (Baseball), so you are already jammed with sports things to do. Apart from this, there is a lot to do in L.A. – visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Go surfing at any of the beaches nearby, spot celebrities and be part of the autograph-seeking crowd at a movie premier. And after all, that, if you still have time, do visit Universal Studios and Disneyland.
Football fans know who Lionel Messi is. But if you don’t follow football, you would still know who Messi is. He currently plays for Spanish football team FC Barcelona and lives in Barcelona. Barcelona is a city that is filled with culture in all forms – historical sites including many world heritage sites, food, music and sports. The most popular places for sports is FC Barcelona’s home – Camp Nou – the largest football stadium in Europe; tour here is a must. But don’t stop with this – do visit the Sagrada Famìlia, world heritage sites of Casa Batllo and Casa Mila, and for socialising in sport, go to the pubs at La Rambla.
Unarguably, he is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. His singles records are the best in the world. People talk about him being a legend in the game. He currently lives in Wallerau on Lake Zurich in Switerland. On Lake Zurich, it is best that you rest, relax and enjoy the views. It is a beautiful place during summers. If you are into aquatic motorsports like wakeboarding and jet skiing, this a place for you. You can also go hiking and mountain biking in the nearby mountains and in the winter, this location is perfect for skiing and snowboarding.
Ronaldo Luiz Nazario de Lima: Rio de Janerio, Brazil
More commonly known as Ronaldo, the Brazilian Striker is one of the greats of all time. He has come to be known as “the Phenomenon”. He held the world record for the most goals scored in the World Cup over his career and has lifted every trophy he participated in, including the two World Cups. He hails from Rio de Janerio, a beautiful city and a very popular tourist spot. There is a lot to do in Rio – visit Christ The Redeemer statue on the mountain top, relax at the Copacabana and if you just need some sport just go to any street, for there are people playing football everywhere. Do try beach football and Footvolley – a hybrid sport of football and volleyball at Copacabana.
Sachin Tendulkar: Mumbai, India
He is the greatest batsman of all time and was popularly called the Master Blaster. He has lifted every trophy possible in cricket. Ask any cricket fan about him, they know who he is. Currently retired, he mentors the professional cricket team – Mumbai Indians. He hails from the biggest city in India – Mumbai – the financial capital of the country and home to the Indian Film Industry. On the harbour waterfront stands the iconic Gateway of India, a stone arch build in 1924. On an island offshore are Elephanta caves, which contain beautiful sculpted cave temples. The city contains many old sights built during the British times. These include museums, government buildings and Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Station formerly called Victoria Terminus. In Mumbai, you can play cricket anywhere, even on the streets!
All hail the World’s Fastest Man! He holds the sprinting world record for 100m, 200m and 4X100m relay. With 8 Olympic Gold Medals and many more from world championships – he is the greatest sprinter of all time. He hails from a small town of Sherwood Content in Jamaica, but currently lives in the Jamaican capital – Kingston. There is a lot to do in Kingston – visit the Bob Marley Museum, Fort Charles and Lime Cay. There are lots of beaches for you to relax and just have fun indulging in aquatic sports. If you are more of a land person, do go to the Blue Mountains for hiking and viewing waterfalls, rock formations and if you so prefer, a cable car ride. But, for when you want to relax all you need are the white sandy beaches that you get here all around the island and the Caribbean island’s signature food.
Francesco Totti: Rome, Italy
The greatest Italian football player ever, Francesco has played for his country and won a World Cup while having exclusively played for just one football team his entire life – A.S. Roma. He is born in Rome, lives in Rome – and yes, this is his home. Do visit A.S. Roma at Stadio Olimpico – it is a few train stops from the city centre. Rome itself is a beautiful city; it has influenced art and culture for over 3000 years. With lots to see, a few must-see sights are the Colosseum and the forum from the Roman Empire, The Vatican city – the headquarters for the Roman Catholic church which houses the Basilica and Vatican museums. The Vatican museums house masterpieces from the centuries. A must-visit apart from the list above is the Piazza Navona – it is famous for its fountain and all the eating places and bars nearby. With 3000 years of history and still prominent, this is truly the greatest city in the world.